Spring and Summer Events Cancelled, Postponed

Bellingham Parks Updates

Many people are using Bellingham’s park and trail system to get outside, get fresh air and exercise. Please make sure that you are following the Whatcom County Health Department Guidelines and Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order by practicing safe social distancing, keep moving and return home. The City has over 3,400 acres of park land and 80 miles of trails to explore.
Parks and park restrooms are open, but there are restrictions in place. Parking at community parks has been limited. Playgrounds, sports courts, fenced dog off leash areas, and ball fields are closed. Open spaces and trails remain open. Indoor facilities, the Arne Hanna Aquatic Center and stadiums are closed. For a complete list please go to our website: www.cob.org/parks.
Currently parks and trails are open with restrictions in place:

  • Limited community parking
  • Playgrounds, sports courts, fenced dog off leash areas and ballfields are closed
  • Dogs must be on leash
  • no picnicking, sunbathing or hanging out

Restrooms are available at the following parks:  Bel Downer Field, Big Rock Garden, Birchwood, Bloedel Donovan, Boulevard, Broadway, Cornwall, Elizabeth, Fairhaven, Fairhaven Village Green, Forest & Cedar, Lake Padden, Maritime Heritage, Roosevelt, St. Clair,  Squalicum Creek, Whatcom Falls. Park ambassadors are in the parks helping remind visitors of the guidelines. All programs and events at City facilities have been cancelled through May 31. This includes volunteer work parties. Parks and Recreation staff are working hard to plan for summer. It is unlikely that summer programs and events will look like they have in the past. 

Sanford-Hill Concert Cancelled

Jeffrey Gilliam, artistic director of the Sanford-Hill Piano Series, says that the upcoming recital with Imogen Cooper on May 6 at Western Washington University is cancelled.
In 18 years, he says, there has never been a recital cancelled. But all performances in the Performing Arts Center have been canceled through the end of Spring Quarter. |
All ticket proceeds from the Sanford-Hill Piano Series benefit Western’s endowed piano scholarship funds. These are financially challenging times for WWU’s piano students and their families. If you have purchased a ticket, and choose not to request a refund, you will be supporting Western’s piano students.
Professor emeritus Ford Hill writes:
“One of the things I am most proud about our piano recital series is that proceeds from ticket sales go to scholarships for talented piano students here at Western.  Therefore any unrefunded ticket from the May 6th concert will go into the student scholarship fund.”
Sibyl Sanford writes:
“I am also very proud that our concerts support student scholarships, and this to me     is our most important mission with the Series. Please may everyone stay safe and healthy, and we will all get through this difficult time together.”
Imogen Cooper was planning to offer a program of  Beethoven, Schoenberg, Haydn, and Schubert’s epic G major sonata. Imogen Cooper performed the last three Schubert sonatas at the Wigmore Hall in London in November, on the occasion of  her 70th birthday.
You can watch this recital and experience this world-renowned artist on YouTube in the video here.
Feel free to contact Gilliam with any questions about the series at 360-650-3709 or jeffrey. gilliam@wwu.edu.
Make sure to direct ticket and refund questions to Jessie Phillips, box office manager, at 360-650-6103, or the WWU box office, 360-650-6146. Have your payment card handy – the box office does not save transaction information from your purchases.

Virtual Choir Project

Whatcom County singers and choir directors, students, and singing friends are invited to participate in Whatcom Sings, a one-time virtual choir project of the song “Bright Morning Stars.”
Kevin Allen-Schmid says he is “creating this virtual choir in order to sing together and inspire one another somehow, while keeping our social distance, to bring a musical message of hope to our county in these difficult times, and to support the Interfaith Coalition, which provides services for Whatcom County residents experiencing homelessness.”
All the information that you need to participate, including a score, instructional and recording videos, helpful links and contacts for assistance, can be found on this website: https://www.choirofthesalishsea.com/virtual-choir-information.
Participant videos are due on Friday, May 8. There will be professional soloists, accompanists and video editors to create a multi-dimensional film, which we hope to post on YouTube by mid-May, he says. For details, contact him at  kevin@buf.org or kevinallenschmid@gmail.com, or by calling his cell at 406-858-0142.

Master Gardener Plant Sale Modified

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington State University Whatcom Master Gardener Foundation had to modify its 29th Annual Plant Sale whose proceeds fund WSU Whatcom Master Gardener projects and activities each year. Instead the organization is selling the majority of special tomatoes, veggie and herb starts, and dahlia tubers in a first-ever online sale.
The funds raised will help support our demonstration gardens, diagnostic plant clinic, outreach tables and classes around the county, children’s garden, free lectures, and community events at Hovander Homestead Park.
In addition to the sale the Master Gardeners will also be donating a portion of the starts to food banks and other social service programs that they work with to help families in need during these difficult times. Here’s the 2020 sale list of tomato varieties.
Pre-orders will begin April 23, online only, via the Shopify website.

  • Order pick-up will be a drive-thru at the Hovander Park in Ferndale.
  • Order pick-up will be given assigned times on Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9. Customers will receive an email notification.

Organizers understand that this is not as convenient as in the past, and that they value their community and customers, but they must abide by COVID-19 safety restrictions.
They can only offer online orders with designated pick-up times. If you aren’t available to pick-up on May 8 or 9, consider ordering with a friend or relative. Go to extension.wsu.edu/Whatcom for details on how to preorder. And look for updates on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/whatcomMG/

Bellingham Arts & Music Fest Cancelled

BAMF! 2020 on May 29-31 at Lookout Arts Quarry has been cancelled.
Ticket holders for BAMF! 2020 will be automatically queued to receive refunds from Bold Type Tickets. All tickets will be refunded. Refunds will be credited to the card that you used. That money should be reflected in your account balance within the next 10-14 business days. Organizers say they are heartbroken to not see the crowd back at the Lookout Arts Quarry, reveling in the arrival of sunshine and our favorite season. If BAMF! is able to produce something else this year, they would like to do so. If you are able to, please consider donating to any number of causes set up for artists and producers, via our home scene at-large: https://www.gofundme.com/f/bellingham-arts-community-relief

Chuckanut Writers Conference Cancelled

Organizers have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Chuckanut Writers Conference, scheduled for June 26 and 27 at Whatcom Community College.
In response to the event cancelation, organizers have invited the conference faculty to present at next year’s event, and many have already indicated they plan to join us. Please mark your calendars for the 2021 Chuckanut Writers Conference, scheduled to take place June 25-26, 2021. For 10 years, writers have gathered each summer to celebrate the power of storytelling and the written word. Since it’s impossible to come together in person this year, organizers are developing a series of virtual classes and events that will take place during the week of June 22-27. Among other events, you can look forward to registering for select breakout sessions and master classes taught by conference faculty.
Anyone who has experienced the Chuckanut Writers Conference knows that it is too special an event to attempt to reproduce online. Instead, the goal is to create online programming that nourishes creativity, fosters social connection, and promotes writers and their creative work—all worthwhile endeavors during this time of social distancing.
Please visit the website to sign-up for the e-newsletter so that you can receive updates in the days and weeks to come about online offerings for June 2020 and plans for the 2021 Chuckanut Writers Conference. Also check Chuckanut Writers Conference on Facebook.

Ferndale Events Cancelled

City of Ferndale staff has contacted event organizers to let them know event permits through August 31 were being recalled in response to a recommendation from Whatcom County Health Department Director Erika Lautenbach to minimize the spread of COVID-19 disease. The move will result in the cancellation of this year’s Whatcom County Old Settlers Picnic events, the Ferndale Street Festival and city-organized summer activities along with all other large gatherings and events including those scheduled at Pioneer Pavilion Community Center.
Lautenbach issued a letter to community leaders around Whatcom County recommending all summer events, including parades, community festivals and fireworks displays, be cancelled.
Whatcom County Old Settlers Association President Lynda Lucas said, “We are all heartbroken but it’s the right thing to do. We want everyone to be safe.”
Lucas said this is the second time the Old Settlers Picnic has been cancelled, the first occurred in 1942 due to the United States involvement in World War II.
Ferndale Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Anya Milton said the decision impacts two of their events, including the annual Ferndale Street Festival.

Blaine Harbor Music Festival Cancelled

Organizers are sad to announce that they will not be able to open the Blaine Harbor Music Festival Camp, scheduled for July 5-11, due to all of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, they are already looking forward to re-starting the Camp on July 11, 2021.
The July festival brings world-class music educators and performance artists to Blaine to teach and mentor young musicians (aged 12–19) all week, and to perform for the community in noon-hour and evening concerts. The festival is organized each year by a dedicated team from the Pacific Arts Association in Blaine, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that is supported by the community and city of Blaine, as well as by grants from supporters.
During the intervening period, they are working on presenting, throughout the year, a number of short classes offered by members of our faculty, and others, covering many aspects of music. Check the website for the latest up-dates.

Tribal Journeys Paddle Cancelled

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the emergency public health crisis that is impacting communities, Snuneymuxw First Nation has cancelled hosting Tribal Journeys scheduled for July 27-Aug. 1, in Snuneymuxw territory. Protecting the health and wellbeing of the public is the greatest priority while following the health orders issued by the Public Health Officer.
Tribal Journeys are hosted every summer by First Nations and tribes from around the Salish Sea and beyond. The canoe journeys are major cultural events that draw thousands of tribal members and their guests for days of feasting and protocol and ceremony at the culmination of journeys by canoe to the hosting nation.
Chief Mike Wyse said on behalf of Snuneymuxw First Nation that “Covid-19 poses a serious threat to the health and well-being of paddlers, Canoe Families and First Nations across the Pacific Northwest. Given the enormous health and safety risk to participants of Tribal Journeys 2020, we have decided that it is in the best interest of everyone that Snuneymuxw cancel hosting Tribal Journeys this year. There will be many questions given we are in unprecedented times. We ask for the understanding and support of those who are assisting to plan, organize and fund Tribal Journeys 2020. Your partnership with Snuneymuxw is appreciated and I know we will work through this together. If there is an opportunity for Snuneymuxw to resume as hosts for Tribal Journeys sometime in the future, we are honored to do that.”
Tribal Journeys is a longstanding tradition that unifies Indigenous Nations and is a celebration of Indigenous peoples. Chief Wyse says “it is a way for our culture and tradition to be shared with the world. While large gatherings is our custom, the health risk due to COVID-19 is substantial and we cannot bring thousands of people together for a number of days with the presence of the pandemic. The long-term impacts of COVID-19 is unknown and we must err on the side of caution to protect everyone.”
Chief Wyse assures all that “there will come a time when we will celebrate Indigenous culture and resilience with friends, relatives, Canoe Families, Elders, children and youth. Until then, we wish you all health and safety and send our solidarity as you care for each other during this crisis.” For further information, check Facebook or contact Joan Brown, Chief Administrative Officer, Snuneymuxw First Nation, at 250-816-7534, or Joanb@snuneymuxw.ca.